Hey there. Welcome to Feature Shelf, a series that provides book recommendations based on theme or title suggestions. This week’s shelf was inspired by an article in YALSA’s The Hub, which I linked to in the description, about teens who are homeless or have been abused. Check it out if you get a chance. I am the (book) supplier and this is Feature Shelf #22, the Mend a Broken Heart Edition.
There are a lot of really good books in the blog post from The Hub, and I’d like to add a few to their list.
The first two novels on the shelf this week are middle grade novels. And the first is one I don’t think I’ve mentioned before on a Feature Shelf, but it’s one that gets a fair amount of circulation in my classroom, and it’s One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. It’s an emotional story about a girl, Carly, who was placed in foster care after an incident involving her mother and her mother’s new husband.
The second middle grade novel on the shelf this week is Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff. Hollis is 12, and has run away from her foster homes many times. Until she finds a foster home where she actually wants to stay, as she bonds with Josie, who is a retired art teacher. It seems like a match because Hollis is an artist. Except that she misses her last foster family and worries that Josie might be forgetful.
The last three are solidly YA novels, the first of which is Split by Swati Avasthi. Jace runs away from home, and to his brother in Albuquerque, to escape his violent father. He thinks that a new start in a new place is exactly what he needs. But what he finds out is that in order to move his life forward, he have to deal with his past.
Next up is Tap Out by Eric Devine. Tony Antioch comes from a rough home. Since his dad, his mom has brought home a string of abusive boyfriends. Tony’s been too weak or too scared to stand up to them. Then, by a combined effort of his best friend Rob, the principal of his school and Coach Dave, Tony learns how to fight. It serves as an outlet for Tony’s anger, and becomes the one place where he feels alive. But when he helps the father of one of his friends, who is known for drug dealing, Tony’s life gets significantly more complicated as Chaz doesn’t like to owe people favors. Tony has to decide between the gym and the life that Coach Dave and his principal are trying to set up for him, and the easy money that comes from running drugs. Except that he doesn’t really have a choice.
Last on the shelf this week is Bitter End by Jennifer Brown. Alex has the perfect boyfriend. He’s cute, athletic, and he’s crazy about her. But he’s jealous of Alex’s friendship with Zack and makes no secret of it. When Cole’s violent nature surfaces, Alex has to decide whether she’s going to take it, or walk away and save herself.
So five books to add to the list from The Hub: One for the Murphys, Pictures of Hollis Woods, Split, Tap Out and Bitter End.
And that’s it for this episode. For the Feature Shelf archives and show notes, both video and podcast, or to request your own Feature Shelf check out thebooksupplier.com/featureshelf. You can also send me requests on Facebook or Twitter at thebooksupplier (all one word) or an email at thebooksupplier at gmail dot com.
I’m going to leave you there now, dear readers. Thanks for listening to Feature Shelf #22: The Mend a Broken Heart Edition. As always, I am the supplier wishing you happy reading. Don’t forget to be awesome.Heart Edition. I am the (book) supplier wishing you happy reading. Don’t forget to be awesome.